Illustration Friday: I Spy

I drew this before the last illustration Friday but didn't get to post it. So here's my "I Spy"...

We used to play the game in the car on long trips.
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Conference on Children and Literature

Sorry it's been so long since my last post. I've been dealing with my 3 year old's kidney problems, which thankfully are now all resolved after many tests, procedures and 2 surgeries.

After all that, I was able to take a break and attend a conference I was on the committee for. I hosted the guest illustrator, Brett Helquist (illustrator of the Series of Unfortunate Events books and many others). He taught some great breakout sessions on composition and character design. He suggested illustrators study "Picture This" by Molly Bang and internalize it. He also talked about Balance, Motion, Contrast in relation to composition. His theory on Balance was great...he called it the elevator scenario. If there are 3 people (say one larger person and 2 smaller) on the elevator and one gets off, the other two shift positions or there is tension (don't want to stand next to each other if there's room). See the illustrated example.
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Illustration Friday: Hide

This is a piece I did for a book I was writing myself. Philomel had it for a little while and I was working with an editor there on it but it never came full circle. Didn't make it through the big board room. It was also one I painted in Corel Painter. I loved this little girl and her great aunt. They were fun to draw. I seem to lose some of the charm in her character as I do other characters and attempt to capture the same elements that are in her.
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Win a Hippo

I went to Peruvian Park Elementary School last night and did a couple of presentations for kids and their parents for Literacy Night. It's always a lot of fun to share my love of illustration with kids. They even help me create while I'm there. Because I only had 30 min for each presentation, I only had 9 minutes to draw at the end. I call on students to come up and help me create a character. Last night we created Henry and Hilda Hippo. I told the kids I'd post the Hippos on my blog and they could see the finished product of their creations (we only got the basic colors blocked and the outline done besides the head...9 minutes isn't very long). So here they are...Hilda and Henry.

These are the questions I asked the kids to help fill out the character profiles of Hilda and Henry before we illustrated them. See if you can answer the questions by looking at the picture. I'll post the answers another day.

What is his/her favorite color?
What is his/her favorite candy?
Is she/he messy or neat?
What is something she never goes anywhere without? (this one only applies to Hilda)
What does he/she like to do? (This one is the hardest to decipher from the illo)

I am also announcing that Hilda and Henry can each be WON (mailed to you). I asked the kids (you can participate too) to send me a story they write for Hilda or Henry. The best story wins...that simple. I'll post the results later on my blog (and possibly the winning story if permission is granted).
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I'm a freelance illustrator working in the children's book industry. I love kids and raising my own 4 children. They are the inspiration and the passion behind all I do in art and in life. See my website at

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